New Truths: A Look Back at Diversity Celebration Week
Shining the spotlight on DEIB in the workplace
Prioritizing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) in the workplace enables organizations to be more innovative, successful, competitive, and most importantly, cultivate a culture where every employee feels safe at work. As if this isn’t motivating enough, 76% of job seekers report a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.
At BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), one of our core principles is “Distinctive Together,” which seeks to acknowledge and celebrate how our diverse experiences, backgrounds, and skills help foster a culture of inclusion, unlock opportunity, and grow one another. Diversity Celebration Week serves as a reminder of this, bringing the global team together to educate, excite, and inspire one another around the importance and impact of DEIB in everything we do — including the unique businesses we build.
In this piece we take a look at how Diversity Celebration Week, a week-long employee-driven initiative dedicated to DEIB in the workplace and beyond, came to be and why it’s such an important part of our culture at BCGDV.
The idea for Diversity Celebration Week originally hatched in London when a few BCGDVers, including Ian Housham, BCGDV Partner and Director of Experience Design, proposed the idea of dedicating a week to learning about and celebrating diversity. The goal was to create a safe, structured space for the global team to learn and grow through conversation, activities, and shared experiences. Very quickly their grassroots idea grew into an official event, fully backed by leadership and eagerly anticipated by the global team.
“The focus of Diversity Celebration Week is not to cram a year’s worth of diversity education and growth into one week, quite the contrary. Diversity is a top priority at BCGDV all year, but this is our way of bringing focus to the important topics of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging for our teams around the globe,” — Ian Housham, BCGDV Partner and Director of Experience Design, London Center
While the event is formally held each year, it hasn’t lost its grassroots feel, still relying on the teams on the ground in each Center to drive the initiative. In our Singapore Center, Swarnima Korde, BCGDV Senior Talent Architect is co-leading Diversity Celebration Week for the second year in a row. Focused on creating memorable moments for the team, ranging from thought-provoking workshops, like “Bring Your Own Bias” and “Inclusive Design On Ventures,” to mental health check-ins, work-from-home hacks, and participating in classes like, “Let’s Learn Singlish” (a crash course on Singaporean meets English). While all causes are important, no matter where they are taking place in the world, tailoring the content on a local level to what’s relevant to the region proves to be most engaging. In Japan, for example, gender equality is a major focal point, while the Black Lives Matter movement in North America is top of mind. That said, every BCGDV employee will participate in sessions on uncovering unconscious bias, inclusive hiring, and allyship.
This year, the theme of Diversity Celebration Week is New Truths, which is about embracing differences in ourselves as we emerge into a new world post pandemic. It’s centered around three core ideas: Understanding the new truths in which we work and interact with one another, Exposing ourselves to the truths of others, and lastly, Identifying the new truths we adopt for ourselves. For Heidi Kim, BCGDV Partner and Director, her new truth is to commit to being uncomfortable:
“In my new truth, I commit to being uncomfortable, to doing the small and the big things, to being unafraid of potential risks, with clear eyes towards creating a community where all can bring their whole, authentic, wonderful selves.”
After facing a challenging year of restrictions and social distancing, the pandemic has left many people feeling isolated, anxious, and lonely. Remote working, while having its advantages, has also made it more difficult for people to authentically connect with their colleagues. The crisis has also further highlighted inequalities amongst vulnerable communities and the economic fallout due to COVID-19 has left the world rushing to quickly recover, which puts Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at risk of being deprioritized. As we navigate this new reality, we recognize that it’s more important now than ever to not lose sight of pushing for true inclusion and diversity in the workplace and beyond.
It’s also imperative that the businesses we build are as inclusive and diverse as we are. “Certain guiding lights like inclusion, compassion and innovation that help our clients see around corners and build businesses for a better future,” says Alex Baxter, BCGDV Growth Director. With the belief that real collaboration and successful innovation requires diversity, we’re able to help our corporate partners build stronger businesses, increase creativity, and be more competitive.
Ultimately, the goal of Diversity Celebration Week is to deepen our commitment to not only recognize and celebrate the diversity in our teams, but also to identify ways in which we can ensure our business — and the businesses we build — prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging every step of the way.
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